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private life was bad. No doubt there is much exaggeration: allowance must be made for party spite, and for the satisfaction which rhetoricians have found in reckless defamation". The truth perhaps may be that Sallust's life was not exceptional for excess in those disturbed times, and that we should not have heard so much about it, if it had not been for the marked contrast between the excuses he makes for himself and his unsparing condemnation of others,
historia notiones censorias fieri atque exerceri videmus, in adulterio ab Annio Milone loris bene caesum dicit, et, cum dedisset pecuniam, dimissum. The story is also mentioned by Servius on Verg. A. 6. 612, and by a scholiast on Hor. Sat. 1. 2. 41, who takes it from Asconius' life of Sallust, which is unfortunately lost.
5 Lenaeus, a freedman of Pompeius, and after his patron's death a schoolmaster, revenged himself on Sallust, for describing P. as oris probi animo inverecundo, with great vigour. (Suet. de Gramm. 15.) What reckless defamation can do is shown by the writer of the invective of Cicero against Sallust, which appears in many editions of Sallust's works.
6 In what he says of himself however in the prefaces to the Catiline and Jugurtha, Sallust is thinking perhaps rather of literary ornamentation than of autobiographical details, for he is only translating Plato's Seventh Letter. Cp. Néos èуú поTE ἂν πολλοῖς δὴ ταὐτὸν ἔπαθον· ᾠήθην εἰ θᾶττον ἐμαυτοῦ γενοίμην κύριος ἐπὶ τὰ κοινὰ τῆς πόλεως εὐθὺς ἰέναι, καί μοι τύχαι τινὲς τῶν τῆς πόλεως πραγμάτων τοιαίδε παρέπεσον...εἷλκε...με...ἡ περὶ τὸ πράττειν τὰ κοινὰ καὶ πολιτικὰ ἐπιθυμία and ἐγὼ θαυμαστὸν οὐδὲν ἔπαθον ὑπὸ νεότητος, and again φερόμενα ὁρῶντα πάντη πάντως with C. 3. 3. The imitation is more striking in the Jugurtha, where S. borrows from the same letter further on. The curious sentence-3, 2 Vi quidem regere patriam aut parentes (it must mean 'parents' and not 'subjects'), quamquam et possis et delicta corrigas, tamen inportunum est, cum praesertim omnes
between the looseness of his own practice and the severely moral tone of his writings. What right has he, contemporaries may be excused for asking, now that he has taken refuge in his luxurious palace, built on the oppression of the provincials, to scourge the private and public vices of the times?
Something of a consciousness that he was inviting such a retort, of a feeling that he could not say of himself what he puts into the mouth of Cato-qui mihi atque animo meo nullius umquam delicti gratiam fecissem, haud facile alterius lubidini malefacta condonabam-seems at times to show itself in the hard, sarcastic tone of his writing, a tone rather of violent irritability and disappointment than of genuine moral indignation.
The large infusion of moral reflections and judgments, however, from another and juster point of view, is a very important element in Sallust's work. Such moral reflections were necessary material to a
rerum mutationes caedem fugam aliaque hostilia portendant— clearly comes from πατέρα—ἢ μητέρα οὐχ ὅσιον ἡγοῦμαι προσβιάζεσθαι and βίαν...πατρίδι πολιτείας μεταβολῆς μὴ προσφέρειν, ὅταν ἄνευ φυγῶν καὶ σφαγῆς ἀνδρῶν μὴ δυνατὸν ᾖ γίγνεσθαι, κ.τ.λ. Cp. Plato Crit. 51 c. and Cic. Ep. 1. 9. Jordan observes, that we can no more draw any exact conclusions as to Sallust's antecedents from under the veil which he thus throws over them, than we can infer from Horace's relicta non bene parmula anything but that he shared the rout of a defeated army. The two cases are not however quite parallel: the point of Horace's phrase lies in its being a reminiscence of Alcaeus; that S. would have borrowed from this letter unless it had fitted his own case exactly is doubtful. It must be noticed that the § 5 of the 3rd chapter is original in Sallust.
Roman writer who aimed at making historical writing a branch of literature, and this was the aim that Sallust was the first to set before himself and achieve.
The low state of Roman historical writing is often noticed by Cicero'. All history, he says, takes its rise in annals, but in Rome it had hardly got beyond its initial stage. Some writers in the past, it is true, had recognized the difference which separates history from annals,-Sempronius Asellio, for instance, but he is as tedious and inexperienced as the rest. Take the last and best of the class, Sisenna; his style is an improvement, but it leaves much to desire, and as for his history-it is puerile. In fact abest historia litteris nostris, and a Roman cannot read an Herodotus or Thucydides without shame. Sallust did not judge his predecessors so severely. He was not repelled by their bald brevity, nor did he regret, with Cicero, their want of tractus orationis lenis et aequabilis. He indeed admired the brevity of Cato, and had some sympathy with the archaic affectation of Sisenna, of whose diligence also he speaks with respect (J. 95. 2). But it is evident (from C. 8) that he too felt that nothing had yet been done by
7 De Legg. c. 2, de Orat. 2. 12. 51 ff. Brutus 64. 228.
8 In Gellius 5. 18 Annales libri tantummodo quod factum quoque anno gestum sit, ea demonstrabant...Nobis non modo satis esse video, quod factum esset, id pronuntiare, sed etiam, quo consilio quaque ratione gesta essent, demonstrare...Nam neque alacriores ad rempublicam defendundam, neque segniores ad rem perperam faciundam annales libri commovere quicquam possunt. He was born about 595 (159).
any Roman writer which would stand beside Thucydides. It was his ambition to supply the want.
That could only be done by offering as complete a contrast to the tedious annalist as possible, and Sallust neglected no means of giving variety to his work. From Thucydides he probably borrowed the idea of his introductions, the imaginary speeches, and the character portraits1o; from Cato the picturesque descriptions of the scenes of historical events, and the ethnographical digressions. And not only with the help of such exterior decorations does Sallust seek to excite interest, but in the handling of the facts of history he is at pains to bring out the general tendencies to which they point, to deduce from the past the causes which have led to the incidents he describes, to pourtray the moral condition of the times, to assign the motives which guided the actors in the drama.
With this abundant superstructure, it is not unnatural that we have often to complain that historical truth and accuracy tend to fall too much in the background, and that Sallust is more of a rhetorician than an historian. That, however, was not an objection
9 The speeches, which in the Catiline take up almost a quarter of the whole book, in the Jugurtha occupy not more than a sixth. In the Histories, from which we have probably all the speeches, the amount must have been still further reduced.
10 The portraiture of character is perhaps Sallust's strongest point. The contrasted portraits of Cato and Caesar in the Catiline have seemed to many writers, and not without reason, to form what was intended to be the kernel of the work.
which his contemporaries would have been inclined to urge11.
Why did Sallust choose the conspiracy of Catiline for a subject? Mainly perhaps for two reasons: 1st, he would not be put to the trouble of consulting authorities, for he had himself as a young man been a spectator of the events (he was 23 at the time of Cicero's consulship), and he could rely to a great extent on his memory, and on what he could learn from the mouths of others. And, 2nd, the subject had been worked up and magnified with such exaggeration by the eloquence of Cicero as to make it just the theme that he wanted12. For Sallust's rhetoric delights in strong colours without light and shade, in thick deep strokes. But that Sallust's object was only to clear the memory of Caesar from any connexion with the conspiracy, as Mommsen declares, though there is much to be said for that view 13, is perhaps nevertheless
11 Quintilian 2. 18. 5 historiis quod ipsum opus in parte oratoria merito ponimus. Granius Licinianus, however, an historian in the second century, says Sallustium non ut historicum puto sed ut oratorem legendum. Nam et tempora reprehendit sua et delicta carpit et contiones inserit et dat in censum loca montes flumina et hoc genus amoena et culte comparat disserendo.
12 To the first reason should be added perhaps the example of Thucydides. The latter reason Sallust gives himself in C. 4. 4, nam id facinus in primis ego memorabile existumo sceleris atque periculi novitate.
13 The theory that the work was intended to serve as an apology for Caesar would be much strengthened if it could be shown that Cicero's ȧvéкdoтa (ad Att. 2. 6. 2), or Private Memoirs, was published before Sallust wrote, immediately after